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Lee Yongbaek

Oct. 1 – Nov. 3, 2019

The Vault

Lee Yongbaek, <i>Angel Soldier</i> (video still), 2011. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, purchase, funded by the Emma Grace Holmes Endowment.

Lee Yongbaek, Angel Soldier (video still), 2011. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, purchase, funded by the Emma Grace Holmes Endowment.

This work was selected by Thaís Wenstrom (class of 2019), who explains: “I was mesmerized by this performance piece when I watched it for the first time. Lee Yongbaek is a renowned artist in Korea working with a variety of technological media, from video to kinetic art to robotics. In Angel Soldier, the figures move slowly in sync, camouflaged against a backdrop of flowers, with only their hands and weapons visible. In addition to tricking your brain with movements and colors, the artist also uses the sound of birds, insects, and wind to complete the experience. The juxtaposition of flowers, a well-known symbol of peace, and serene nature sounds against a war zone is unsettling; but is what makes this piece so unique. It overwhelms the senses, while also encouraging viewers to question what happens to the figures outside of the frame.”

The Vault

The Vault, which also houses some of the works from our permanent collection, is dedicated to featuring and displaying works chosen by MSU students who work at the museum. Each month, one of our student gallery guides selects a piece from our collection and writes a short text explaining why they chose it and believe it should be displayed. By providing our gallery guides with an opportunity to participate in the curatorial process of selection and display, we aim to open a dialogue with the student community while simultaneously sharing with the public works from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage.